Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. We have a tricky three-game slate tonight with only one game at 8 pm ET and two games at 10:30 pm ET. So, you can stack the early game of GS/Toronto or boil some coffee and prepare for a long night of basketball. A night that hopefully ends in glory.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for tonight’s slate on FanDuel.
Note: The number in parenthesis refers to the salary of that particular player.
Kyle Lowry (8.0)
There is not a lot of safety tonight at PG, so I keep going back to Lowry on FanDuel. Lowry has been very solid this year, but he’s become more of an old-school pass-first point guard on this loaded Toronto team. In the last 12 games, guess how many times Lowry has taken at least 15 shots. The answer: ZERO. That is not appealing and normally means Lowry screams cash game play, as he now lives in a home without a ceiling. However, the slate dictates who we play, and there are certain nights where it is totally fine if a player gives us 4-5x his salary. PG is filled with hideous traps everywhere, so we can look for high ceiling guys at other positions.
Klay Thompson (7.0)
I’ve seen more people write about Buddy today than I have in his entire career, and in that pace up game versus the Clippers, Buddy is a fine target. However, I attack the Clippers frontcourt and leave Pat Bev, Bradley, and SGA alone for the most part. Klay’s usage without Curry on the court has been insane. He’s the anti-Kyle Lowry, averaging 23 shots a game in his last nine games, and he’s scored 22 points or more in 12 out of 13 games in the month of November. So, while we would like to see him get more peripheral stats that would only be a bonus tonight. With Kawhi hounding Durant all night, Klay could be primed for a big night. The only way the Warriors can stay in the game against Toronto is if Klay shoots lights out tonight.
Tyreke Evans (5.1)
Tonight, we will have to engage in an evil act called hate watching. We’ll have to roster players on teams we loathe, and then watch those players with hatred in our hearts…until they win us a new car. Tyreke is my No. 1 hate-watch on the season. He hasn’t shaved or showered all year, and he may have given up on life. It is unclear. He chose to come to Indiana as a free agent after playing incredible last year, however, even when Dipo is out – he seems like an afterthought on a Pacers team dying for scoring. The entire situation with Tyrke makes zero sense. He has been awful all year, barely tries on the court, clearly is disliked by his wacky coach, and yet, tonight is an elite play! His projections are popping off the chart against the Lakers, his price is dirt cheap, and he should see a minimum of 24 minutes. I refuse to believe he has entirely forgotten how to play basketball, and he still is one of the few value players on this slate that possesses massive upside.
Domantas Sabonis (7.5)
Power forward is loaded with nice players in elite matchups, but the problem is almost all of them are a tad overpriced on FanDuel. Harrell, Harris, Bagley, and Sabonis are my four favorites, and I envision myself using two of each in most of my lineups. The issue with Harris is that in the fourth quarter, he is neutered by Lou Will taking all the shots and usage. The issue with Harrell, Bagley, and Sabonis is will they get enough minutes to pay off their expensive price tags. When I’m debating between players like this, I normally look to pace and usage as deciding factors. But tonight, I had to dig even deeper and look at factors such as back to backs. When crunching all the numbers, I slightly lean Sabonis over Harrell (who played last night). Sabonis’ production this year has been nothing short of phenomenal. I am not sure he is human, as I honestly cannot recall him having a bad game. He is the most efficient player I’ve seen play this year and is averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds in his last three games. If Nate McMillan had eyes or a brain or a coaching staff or a GM or an owner or an analytics staff or hired me as a consultant – he would be starting Sabonis and playing him 35+ minutes a night. For tonight, though, we’ll probably have to settle for 24 minutes of Sabonis domination against a Lakers team that may be on the verge of mutiny.
PUNT/RUN/HIDE/COVER YOUR EYES
This is the worst I’ve ever seen center, maybe in my five year of playing NBA DFS. I loathe all of the options. The Kings seem to have finally realized how awful WCS is and maybe they should give minutes to the No. 2 pick in the draft – so I have no desire to play him. The Warriors play a tame four-headed monster in the frontcourt, and they are all putrid. Jonas, as always, never gets enough minutes to truly smash. Gortat…well, he’s Gortat. McGee and Chandler are now in a time-share, so neither is truly fantasy relevant. And Myles Turner is one of the most fragile human beings on planet earth, and his projections are so low for tonight that when I tried to click his name my computer yelled out, “Moron.”
So, I am letting the rest of my build determine what center I play tonight. I will lock in guys I feel somewhat comfortable with in my other 8 spots, and then use the remaining salary to roster a center. My initial builds all have me punting at center, trying to save as much money as possible, so I can get safety at other spots. If I have to play Tyson Chandler to fit in Lebron, so be it.
Alright, the Judge’s Verdict is in and it is final. Good luck tonight!
If you have any comments/feedback, I’d love to hear it. You can find me on twitter @DanielAGreen1. Also, be sure to check out my NBA DFS podcast DG Courtroom every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the NBA season.